Students are given a language assessment to determine if they would benefit from additional assistance with English and completion of Communication assignments. This free assistance provides them with targeted language skill development at the same time they complete already existing assignments. The goal of this assistance is to support student success and reduce attrition.
For over 12 years, the Communication Department has been offering Language Support tutorials for English language learners (ELLs) in programs across BCIT. Identifying and supporting ELLs in their first weeks at BCIT has been fundamental for their academic success and is now especially important as we transition to remote learning. Language Support instructors have taught ELLs important strategies to cope with new technical language, content, and the educational environment. Since 2018, the department has piloted and tested its own online language assessment test with over 1,000 first-term students in SoCAS, SoB, and SoE. The purpose of the test is to quickly and effectively identify students so they can start their Language Support tutorials early in their first term.
For September 2020, a 30-minute, English Screening Test for Polytechnics—Online (ESTP-O) has been developed and can be used through the Learning Hub by any program that registers with the department. Using discrete-point and integrative tests, the ESTP-O measures reading accuracy (a > .79) and written receptive vocabulary knowledge (a = .92). Regression results from a sample of 447 test takers indicate that ESTP-O significantly predicts COMM course outcomes (R2 = 0.23, p = 0.01), accounting for about 23% of the variance in final course grades.
If your program has or wants Language Support and is interested in the ESTP-O, or for more general information about Language Support and the test, please contact Nathan Devos.